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Peterborough canoe c. 1908? What's the deal?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by cravingsunshine, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. cravingsunshine

    cravingsunshine New Member

    So I am writing a report on a particular canoe that we had to survey as a project. Well everything was going fine until I started having reservations about the date that they have listed for the canoe. They say it was made in 1908. However the decal is the "registered trade mark" version. I'm also having some issues with the serial number. Can anyone shed some light on the history of this piece for me? I'm really interested to find out more. Also was the decal placed there as part of a reconstruction? I haven't been able to find evidence of a raised decal like that. The (original I'm assuming) other decal, which you can see above the brass ring fitting is pretty beat up, but the same style.

    Attached Files:

  2. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Looks like someone who worked on it wanted to preserve the decal and cut it out of the original king plank, made an oval and attached it. Grain of the new wood in considerably different as well. 1908 it isn't, that's for sure.
  3. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    A clever idea, actually.
  4. Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    If you haven't already seen it, check out the thread at - which explains the history and different iterations of Peterborough Canoe Co. decals over the years. The decal you show on the oval piece of wood could not date as early as 1908 simply because registration of that trade mark did not take place until 1911, in Canada, and later in other countries. The decal on your canoe is more consistent with those seen in use in the 1920's and 1930's, but could be any time after 1911. A 1908 era decal would look something like the third one pictured in the above-mentioned thread (no reference at all to 'trade mark'). It is not possible to judge from your photos what period the other decal on the bow deck may relate to. Having said that, one should always bear in mind that decals can be changed, added later, reproduced, etc., meaning that they don't always coincide with the actual date of a canoe or paddle. At best, they can 'suggest' a date, but can equally be misleading. The canoe could be from a different period than the decal. There are no preserved records from the Peterborough Canoe Co. to make the numbers in the stem of exact help, but someone historically knowledgeable about early Peterborough canoes, based on handling other examples, might be able to give you some general guidance as to date or period of construction. I would suggest asking WCHA member Dick Persson, or consulting Jeremy Ward, Curator at the Canadian Canoe Museum.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  5. OP

    cravingsunshine New Member

    I was thinking this may have been the case. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to pass all of this info along to the museum to add to their knowledge database. To be honest their info for the public is scant at best and I haven't had time to get in contact with the boat guys. It takes them ages to reply to emails. As suggested I may contact the folks at the Canadian canoe museum for their input on the matter.
  6. Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    I am going to hazzard a guess that this canoe was built after the late thirties. Do you see, in the picture of the whole canoe, the seat arrangement and single thwart? First time I can find that in a catalog is 1938... Previous catalogs show three thwarts...

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